Good Question: How Did Father’s Day Become A Holiday?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This Sunday, many of us will be celebrating Dad. Whether it’s with a card or lunch, or a sweatshirt or fishing pole, the National Retail Federation estimates we’re expected to spend more than $15 billion on Father’s Day.

So, how did Father’s Day become a holiday? Good Question.

According to the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau, the history dates back to 1909 when Sonora Smart Dodd first came up with the idea.

Dodd’s mother died when she was 16, so she and her five younger brothers were raised by their father, William Jackson Smart, on a farm in eastern Washington State.

In 1909, Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at the Central United Methodist Church. One year later, she brought up the idea of celebrating fathers to the Spokane YMCA. At first, she suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, as the date, but the pastors said they needed more time to prepare their sermons. They decided to hold the celebration June 19 and sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city.

In 1924, President Coolidge pushed for a national Father’s Day and encouraged states to recognize the holiday. In 1966, President Johnson signed a proclamation that would make it the third Sunday in June. In 1972, President Nixon made the permanent holiday official by signing another proclamation.

In honor of our fathers, stepfathers, foster fathers and grandfathers, WCCO asked you to submit photos of the dads in your life doing great things. To see a slideshow of all the wonderful dads, click here.

More from Heather Brown
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